August 12, 2008: The Central States Pension giveback may fuel the full-time jobs takeaway at UPS.
The company chair of the Nor Cal UPS Grievance Panel told Teamster local officials at panel hearings that UPS would not be filling vacant Article 22.3 positions in Northern California locals and that the company would not fill future Article 22.3 positions in Nor Cal when they become vacant.
According to some sources, UPS wants to move as many full-time combo jobs to the Central and Southern Regions, where the company’s pension costs are greatly reduced because full-time UPS Teamsters are no longer covered by the Central States Pension Plan.
When the contract was being voted on, UPS Teamsters in the West were told that the Central States pension giveaway would not affect them. Was that wishful thinking?
The new UPS-Teamster pension plan in the Central States is a defined benefit plan, rather than a defined-contribution plan. As a result, UPS stands to save money if they can move full-time combo positions there.
However, Teamsters in the Central and Southern Regions, covered by the new plan do not report that new 22.3 jobs are being created. The UPS Full-Time Jobs Takeaway may just be a shell game.
Nor Cal Teamster Officials: “Protect Our 22.3 Jobs.”
In a letter dated Aug. 8, the head of the Teamsters Nor Cal Grievance Committee Marty Frates alerted all Nor Cal Teamster locals that, “UPS has made a decision in some areas to eliminate Article 22.3 jobs and is returning those employees to part-time status. In addition, UPS is not replacing vacant Article 22.3 jobs.”
The Teamster Nor Cal Committee has asked all locals to do an audit of the full-time 22.3 jobs in their local. Frates also wrote a letter to Ken Hall on the same day, requesting a copy of the report that UPS was required to submit to the International Union detailing and identifying the Article 22.3 jobs in Nor Cal that the company will maintain under Article 22.3 of the new contract.
UPS was required to submit that report to the International Union in February. To date, Teamster locals have not been provided with a copy, making it much more difficult to enforce the contract.
UPS was required to have created 20,000 full-time combo jobs nationwide by Aug. 1. The company is clearly in violation of this requirement. Stewards and members across the country report that all 2,500 new combo jobs due by Aug. 1 have not been created, and in some areas UPS is eliminating positions through layoffs and not filling all vacant positions.
International Union Needs To Take the Lead
The International Union needs to provide the list of 20,000 combo jobs to every UPS local and coordinate a national audit.
Our union needs to file a national grievance demanding that UPS immediately fill all vacant Article 22.3 positions and pay full back pay to members who were denied access to these jobs.
It will be much more difficult for UPS to move filled Article 22.3 jobs than empty ones. The International Union also needs to back local unions in their fight to maintain full-time job opportunities under Article 22.3 in all areas of the country.
The UPS contract only requires the company to maintain 20,000 full-time Article 22.3 positions nationally. Only a few exceptions exist where UPS is required to maintain a minimum number of positions in specific locals.
Louisville Local 89 has this language in their rider. Chicago Local 705, which is a separate agreement from the national contract, also has this language, and has 22.3 jobs over and above the 20,000.
Our International Union should work to secure agreements that UPS will not reduce Article 22.3 jobs in areas where those jobs are under attack.
August 1, 2008: Interviews with shop stewards and members in local unions across the county reveal that UPS is violating the contract when it comes to full-time job creation.
Teamster members are standing up by filing grievances and demanding that UPS create the full-time jobs the company owes us. Our International Union needs to back up members and local unions with a nationwide full-time jobs audit and contract enforcement campaign.
UPS is obligated by Article 22.3 of the contract to maintain 20,000 full-time combo positions. The contract requires the company to have completed this full-time job creation by Aug. 1—including 2,500 new full-time jobs that UPS had to create in the last year.
Not only has UPS failed to create the 20,000 jobs, but stewards across the country report that the company is destroying full-time combo jobs by not bidding the jobs when they go vacant.
Reports from UPSers
Teamsters in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Sacramento, Spokane, New York, Cincinnati, Orange County, Calif., Toledo, Seattle, Memphis, Baltimore, Roanoke, Va., Little Rock, North Carolina and other local unions report that the company has created few, if any, full-time Article 22.3 jobs since Aug. 1 of last year.
When combo jobs are vacated, they say management will delay posting the position, and when possible, not fill the job at all.
Stewards in Seattle Local 174 report that management has eliminated 10 percent or more of the full-time combination jobs in the Redmond Hub alone by refusing to fill vacant positions.
In a few cases, members report that combo employees have been laid off.
UPS managers and even some Teamster business agents have claimed that the company has the right to eliminate combo jobs because of “loss of volume.”
No language exists in the contract to back up this claim. In fact, this argument was specifically rejected by an arbitrator when the company tried to use it to back out of its obligation to create full-time jobs after we won the 1997 strike.
In some cases, management claims that it has relocated the full-time jobs to other locals. But our follow up investigations into these locals indicate otherwise.
Thousands of Missing Full-Time Jobs
We don’t know exactly how many Teamsters UPS is cheating out of a full-time combination job. Reasonable estimates climb into the thousands. Management has created few of the 2,500 full-time jobs it was required to fill in the year ending Aug. 1. Include the jobs that have been allowed to go vacant and the numbers add up fast.
But there is no reason that stewards have to wonder. Our contract gives our union a powerful tool for enforcing our right to 20,000 full-time combo jobs.
Article 22.3 requires the company to give the International Union a list that details and identifies all 20,000 combo jobs the company will maintain. The contract says that UPS had to turn this list over to the IBT sixty days after the contract was ratified.
That was more than five months ago. But as we go to press, the International Union has never provided this list to local unions, making contract enforcement much more difficult.
What the IBT Can Do
Our International Union needs to act now to stop UPS’s full-time jobs takeaway. The Parcel Division must launch an immediate and comprehensive nationwide audit of Article 22.3 jobs.
Each local union should be provided with a list of the Article 22.3 jobs that UPS claims it is maintaining. Business agents and shop stewards could then compare the company’s list with the full-time jobs that are actually filled in the local union.
Grievances can be filed locally and the Parcel Division could file a national grievance to demand that UPS immediately post all vacant positions until at least 20,000 combo jobs are filled.
Eligible Teamsters who were denied access to a combo position by the company’s violation of the contract should receive full back pay.
Failing to create and fill full-time jobs saves the company many millions of dollars a year. This money belongs in the pockets of the working Teamsters who have been cheated out of their full-time job. Only by demanding backpay will we give the company a financial incentive to follow the contract.
What Members Can Do
Concerned Teamsters are taking action to protect full-time jobs. You can too.
Make a list of all the full-time combo jobs that have gone vacant and not been filled in your building.
File a grievance. Your grievance should state that the company is violating Article 22.3 of the contract by failing to create and maintain 20,000 full-time jobs nationwide.
Your remedy should state that the company should cease and desist from violating Article 22.3, immediately post and fill all vacant Article 22.3 positions, and make affected Teamsters whole in every way including but not limited to restoration of full-time job opportunities and full backpay.
Ask your local union to get UPS’s Article 22.3 full-time jobs list from the Parcel Division and to share it with members and stewards so the contract can be enforced.
Your local union can also file an information request. Federal law requires UPS to comply with a request from the local for the list of jobs that UPS is maintaining in the local’s jurisdiction under Article 22.3.
For advice and a sample grievance and information request, call Teamsters for a Democratic Union at 313-842-2600 or go to www.MakeUPSDeliver.org
Together, we can make UPS deliver the 20,000 full-time jobs they owe us.
December 5, 2007: UPS Teamsters were not able to defeat givebacks this time. An analysis of voting results shows what it will take for us to succeed in the future.
UPS entered contract talks making record profits of more than $4 billion and under pressure from stockholders to settle the contract early.
Our chief negotiators James Hoffa and Ken Hall had the leverage to make UPS deliver. Instead, they gave the company the early deal it wanted—plus the biggest concessions in 25 years.
Concerned UPS Teamsters mobilized to Vote No. Although we were not able to defeat the contract, an analysis of the voting results shows what it will take for us to succeed in the future.
Informed Voters Challenged the Givebacks
The balloting results show that Teamsters can make a difference when we take coordinated action. In the locals where members mounted an organized campaign to distribute Make UPS Deliver information, the contract was challenged and sometimes defeated.
Members voted down the contract in many large UPS locals, including Kansas City, St. Louis, Cincinnati, New Orleans, Omaha, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Allentown, Harrisburg, Worcester, Syracuse, and Knoxville, among others.
In New York Local 804, the largest UPS local in the East, 7,000 Teamsters overwhelmingly rejected the contract by a three to one margin.
In locals where Make UPS Deliver materials weren’t distributed and members only heard the company and union sales job, the vote was a lopsided—with ten to one margins and worse.
The lopsided yes votes in locals where members heard only the IBT-UPS sales job helped to account for the overall 65 percent ratification margin.
Why the Contract Passed Nationally
The biggest obstacle to defeating the concessionary contract nationally was the sheer size of the Teamster-UPS sales job.
The company and the union reached every UPS Teamster with their Vote Yes campaign. Most UPS Teamsters received multiple mailings—including six separate mailings in the Central and Southern regions.
In contrast, our Vote No campaign relied on member-to-member communication. The fast track contract vote gave us limited time to expand our network.
The lesson is clear: working Teamsters at UPS can’t wait until there’s a crisis to get organized. If we want to stop future givebacks and enforce our contract, we need a bigger, stronger network of UPS stewards and members. And that means building a stronger TDU.
Hoffa-Hall Surrender on Central States Pension
The Hoffa administration’s miserable failure to defend Teamster pensions was another major factor in the contract vote.
First, Teamster pensions were cut in the Central States and elsewhere after Hoffa and Hall promised they would be protected by the 2002 contract.
Then our union failed to advance any positive plan for improving pensions without giving in to the UPS pension grab in the Central States.
With Hoffa and Hall offering no plan, no hope and no leadership, it is not surprising that the contract passed by a wide margin in the Central States areas.
Many Teamsters in other areas saw the givebacks in the contract as the price members had to pay to “solve” the Central States pension problem.
It’s hard for members to stand up against UPS’s concessions when our own leaders are lying down for the company.
The contract results showed the influence of local officials—and the need to organize for local union reform.
In a few key locals where local officers actively spoke out against the contract, they made a big difference, fueling the defeat of the supplements in Central and Western Pennsylvania—and nearly overturning the supplement in Northern California.
Unfortunately, the majority of local union officials and business agents showed that they would rather go along with Hoffa than make a stand for the members they are supposed to represent.
Many sent letters to their local union membership pushing a Yes vote—adding to the flood of mail and recorded calls from the International and the company. Many UPS Teamsters are already looking down the road to their next local union election.
With the contract approved in most parts of the country, UPS Teamsters are left with two choices: give up or get organized.
The company will continue to attack our pensions and benefits—and undermine the contract every chance they get.
It is up to concerned UPS stewards and members to inform our co-workers, enforce our contract, and hold our union leaders accountable.
That’s why Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) launched the Make UPS Deliver website.
We plan on keeping it going. But we want to do more than just share information in cyberspace.
TDU’s goal is to build a network that can link UPS stewards and members in every hub and building.
Be a part of making that happen. Join TDU today. Click here to join.
In a contract riddled with givebacks, no one was hit harder then UPS part-timers.
The proposed tentative agreement offers a wage package that is substantially inferior to the “Best Contract Ever,” opens the door to healthcare cuts for current and future part-timers, and eliminates the 10,000 new combo jobs that offer part-timers a shot at a better future.
These concessions don’t just hurt part-timers—the lowest-paid and most exploited Teamsters at UPS. They undermine the strength of our union as a whole, by ensuring that the majority of Teamsters at UPS are low-wage workers.
By 2013, tens of thousands of UPS Teamsters very likely will be making the legal minimum wage, which by then will pass $8.50 with no benefits for a year—and they will be asked to pay union dues and an initiation fee. This is bad for part-timers and bad for our union.
Full-timers and part-timers alike have a stake in beating these givebacks.
Thee language changes affecting part-timers include:
Part-timers will have to wait until Aug. 1, 2008 to get a raise of just 35¢. By comparison, under the current contract, part-timers got a raise this August of $1.20. A second 35¢ raise won’t be paid until Feb. 1, 2009.
The 2002 contract paid an extra $1 in wage increases for part-timers over the life of the contract to slightly close the gap between part-timers and full-time pay.
This contract widens the gap, by eliminating the booster raises for part-timers and freezing starting pay at $8.50.
Part-time pay will go up to $9.50 after 90 days ($10.50 for sorters on the preload only). This is a 50¢ increase from the 2002 contract. This amount will also be frozen until 2013.
Under the tentative agreement, new part-timers will not get healthcare benefits in their first year on the job and will have to wait 18 months for family coverage.
The tentative agreement also eliminates all contract protections that guarantee that part-timers benefits will be equal to full-timers’ benefits. (See Article 34, Section 2). All part-timers will be moved into a company health plan.
This may not affect benefits immediately, but it will open the door for the company to make cuts in the future. If healthcare costs continue to rise, we no longer would have contract language to stop UPS from cutting benefits—something that corporations have been doing across the country.
The tentative national agreement would eliminate all sick days, holidays, vacation days and personal days for part-timers in their first year of service.
Part-timers in the company’s pension plan would accrue $60 in monthly pension benefits for every year of part-time service. (Part-timers in the West, New England and Upstate New York are in Teamster plans with superior benefits).
No New Full-Time Jobs
The tentative agreement gives away the language in Article 22.3 that requires the company to create 10,000 new combo jobs by combining existing part-time jobs.
This language creates more full-time job opportunities for part-timers and increases the percentage of full-time jobs at the company, which gives us more power as a union. Why give it away?
August 23, 2007: In 1997, Teamsters at UPS made history by forcing the company to create 10,000 new full-time jobs by combining 20,000 part-time jobs. Now UPS is trying to turn back the clock by stopping new full-time job creation—and even eliminating existing full-time jobs.
Ask Nicky Gladwin. In April, UPS management at the San Marcos hub in San Diego told this combo worker and 11-year Teamster that she was being laid off and reduced to part time. Within days, she was dropped to 25 hours a week.
Gladwin is not alone. UPS Teamsters from San Diego to Spokane report the same problem: combo workers being laid off while part-time Teamsters with less seniority work full-time hours.
Under Article 22.3, the company cannot eliminate combo jobs without proving a loss of volume. Gladwin has steadily filed grievances, but five months later she is still working part time.
“When I got my full-time job, I thought this is it. I’ll be able stop living paycheck to paycheck,” Gladwin said. “I saved money and was going to start shopping for a home this summer. Now, the rug has been pulled out from under me. My life has been put on hold.
“The idea of our contract was to create full-time jobs, not to eliminate them. If we let UPS continue to get away with this, that will be the end of combo jobs. Our union needs to take a stand,” Gladwin said.
Violating Article 22.3
In metro Philly, UPS is taking a different tack to violate its obligations under our contract to create full-time jobs.
At the Willow Grove (Local 384) and Lawnside (Local 676) facilities, management is creating so-called Article 22.3 jobs that include shifting as a portion of their day.
But Article 22.3 states that “new full-time jobs” are to be created “from existing part-time jobs.” Neither local had existing part-time shifter positions.
The idea behind Article 22.3 was not just to create full-time jobs—but to increase the ratio of full-time to part-time jobs by combining part-time positions. Without this language, there would be 40,000 more part-time jobs and 20,000 fewer full-time jobs at UPS today.
Local 384 feeder drivers have written the International Union to protest the improper side deal between their local and UPS management.
Draw the Line at the Bargaining Table
Management wants to turn back the clock on full-time job creation at UPS. We can’t let that happen.
Our union needs an action plan for good full-time jobs at UPS:
- Create a minimum of 10,000 full-time jobs in the contract by combining 20,000 positions. This is the minimum. A higher goal of 15,000 is achievable.
- Improve combo jobs by increasing the rate of pay and strengthening seniority and bidding rights.
Enforce the contract by stopping side deals that violate Article 22.3 and returning all laid-off combo workers to full-time with full back-pay.
UPS management is under pressure to settle our contract early. This gives us leverage to win more and better full-time jobs. It’s up to UPS Teamsters to make sure our union leadership doesn’t settle short.
July 27, 2007: Watch the video that shows how our union won 10,000 full-time jobs, record pension increases and labor’s biggest victory in decades.
Next month, we will celebrate the 10-Year Anniversary of the 1997 UPS Contract Victory—labor’s biggest win in 25 years.
“America’s Victory: the 1997 UPS Strike” reveals the keys to our union’s success—and the strategies we need to put in place to win today.
- Mobilizing Members: Our union’s year-long contract mobilization united Teamsters and paved the way to victory.
- Building Public Support: Our union built public pressure on UPS and won community support that forced image-conscious UPS to meet our demands.
- No Settling Short: UPS’s chief demanded that our union accept the company’s “Last, Best and Final Offer”—but we won record gains by refusing to settle short.
Watch the video that shows how our union can make UPS deliver the contract we deserve in 2008.
June 20, 2007: Do Hoffa and Hall still believe in the principle that powered our 1997 strike victory?
When we drew the line at UPS in 1997, we did more than win a strong contract. We won a stronger future at UPS. Now that legacy is in jeopardy.
In 1997, Teamster unity forced the company to create 10,000 new full-time jobs—by combining 20,000 part-time jobs. Still smarting from the 1997 strike, UPS management agreed to combine another 20,000 part-time jobs in 2002.
If we had not taken our strong stand in 1997, today there would be 40,000 more part-time jobs at UPS and 20,000 fewer full-time jobs. Think about that. 40,000 more throwaway jobs. 20,000 fewer full-time opportunities. Weaker union pension funds. And greatly diminished union power.
That’s why management tries to make combo jobs as unattractive as possible and tries to make combo workers feel like second-class citizens. Management wants to turn back the clock on full-time job creation at UPS. We can’t let that happen.
We need to recapture the spirit of 1997 and fight for quality, full-time jobs at UPS—the world’s most profitable transportation company.
Management should not get an early deal unless the contract:
- Creates a minimum of 10,000 full-time jobs by combining 20,000 part-time positions. A higher goal of 15,000 is within reach.
- Improves combo jobs by increasing the rate of pay and strengthening seniority and bidding rights. There needs to be strong, universal rules that protect the union rights of combo workers.
The Hoffa administration has been conspicuously silent on these issues. UPS Teamsters need to make sure our union leadership does not settle short.
This is about more than protecting the legacy of our 1997 strike victory. It’s about protecting our future. We can’t let UPS turn into a company where the vast majority of employees work in part-time, throwaway jobs.
January 26, 2007: UPS Teamsters have launched a rank-and-file campaign to “Make UPS Deliver” the contract that working Teamsters deserve.
“Our goal is to give UPS Teamsters a voice in these negotiations and to make sure that the company and our union negotiators deliver the contract we deserve,” said Michael Savwoir, a Local 41 feeder driver involved in the effort.
The UPS Negotiating Committee kicked off early bargaining in September and has scheduled seven weeks of intensive talks from January 22 to the end of March.
“We have no intention at this point of scheduling talks past the end of March,” said Ken Hall, the co-chair of our Negotiating Committee in an official statement on Jan. 17. “We expect the company to be prepared to negotiate so we can reach agreement on the issues by the end of March.”
Members Kept in the Dark
But despite the compressed timeline and the huge issues at stake, union negotiators have remained quiet about the issues at the table. UPS Teamsters have had little voice in these critical contract talks.
“This is our contract. We need to get involved and show management and our negotiators that we’re paying attention to the issues and we won’t settle short like we did the last contract,” said Darwin Moore, a steward from Local 243 in Detroit. “We’re asking UPS Teamsters who care about our future to get involved. Visit the website. Share your opinions. Pass out bulletins and spread the word.”
A website will soon be online at makeUPSdeliver.org where Teamsters can get information and post their comments and opinions. Bulletins can be downloaded there to distribute to UPS Teamsters. Flyers and updates are also available by calling TDU.
In 2002, UPS and the Teamsters settled early, two weeks before the contract expiration. UPSers were promised the “Best Contract Ever.” Instead, the contract resulted in the worst pension and benefit cuts in Teamster history.
That contract also left key problems unresolved like excessive overtime, subcontracting, supervisors working, low pay for part-timers and 22.3 workers, unfair job bidding procedures for combo jobs, and a growing nonunion sector at UPS to name a few.
This year, UPS management wants to settle a full year early to keep shippers and stockholders happy, preferably before their 100th Anniversary on August 28. This gives us leverage, and we need to use it.
The company should only get this early settlement if UPS Teamsters get what we need. The power to Vote No and reject an unacceptable offer and send our union and UPS back to the bargaining table gives us the power to win the contract we deserve.
For more information about the “Make UPS Deliver” campaign, visit www.makeUPSDeliver.org or contact TDU today.